This is the 3rd blog in the Mothering Matters Spring 2017 blog series:
Teaching Kids & Touching Lives – Mothering in the Broader Perspective
“If more people did what they loved to do – what they are here to do – can you imagine what the world would be like?”
– Barbara Edie
For today’s Mothering Matters blog, I interviewed Barbara Edie about her upcoming trip to Africa, where she will be teaching kids about why and how to tap into their intuitive wisdom. I thought chatting with Barbara might give me some new insight on the concept of “mothering in the broader perspective.” It certainly did! Enjoy 🙂
A bit about Barbara…
Barbara Edie, MA, BN, is a bestselling author, passionate writer and editor who helps entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, and creative professionals tap into the power of their stories to promote their work or expand their business.
She is the author of Creating the Impossible; What it Takes to Bring Your Creative Vision to Life as well as Sparking Change Around the Globe: 5 Ways to Make Your Difference in the World.
A self-described “global soul,” Barbara often combines her passions for travel and writing, and has lived and worked on three continents and travelled to five. Today, she lives on Canada’s beautiful west coast in Victoria B.C. and keeps her passport handy and laptop ready.
Question #1: Did you actively choose to not have children? Or did life just unfold that way?
I love kids. I chose to not have kids because to be honest, when I was ready to be a mom – in my 30’s – the guys I was with weren’t ready to be fathers…they weren’t father material in my mind. I didn’t want to be a mom in my 20’s.
A good friend of mine told me if I wanted a child, he would have helped me out with that. But I didn’t want to be a single mom. I knew how hard it was to be a mom with a partner!
So I chose to work with kids and have children in my life. So, yes, it was a conscious choice to not have children. But it wasn’t that I didn’t want them – the opportunity just didn’t come up when I was the right age.
I have 7 nieces and nephews and love them very much. I also have my friends’ kids who treat me like an auntie. I am very close with other people’s kids. These kids tell me things that they don’t tell their parents…so I am a trusted advisor.
Question #2: What are your thoughts today on your decision? Are you relieved? Any regrets?
No regrets. I knew I didn’t want to raise a child on my own. I wouldn’t say I am relieved that I didn’t have children. But I don’t have regrets.
I am happy with the choices I made. I did get to deliver two babies, when I was a student mid-wife in Scotland (I took the course but didn’t certify), that are now 30. I was also a pediatric nurse, so I worked with babies, and then also teens later on.
I really do believe in other lifetimes and I know I have been a mother in other lifetimes…just not in this one. But I knew I would be working with kids in some capacity in this lifetime.
It matters to me that kids grow up in peaceful homes and circumstances – but I didn’t have to personally have my own to help make this happen. I have chosen instead to support children and help them in different ways.
Kids love me! Parents have to look after kids in sickness and in health whereas I am the fun-time auntie & fun-time friend. Even from a young age, my friends’ kids loved hanging out with me because I am fun and lighthearted. I don’t take life too seriously. I like to play, too.
Kids and I have a lot of fun together. We get that life is important but that it doesn’t have to be serious.
Question #3: If you could go back in time, would you make different decisions in terms of having a child?
Only if I was with a partner who I wanted to have kids with. I would have to have been with the right partner. But that’s not how it went.
I wasn’t one of those women who at 18 knew I wasn’t going to have kids. I just knew as I got older that if the father wasn’t available, then I wouldn’t have kids. In this lifetime, I realized I was just going to have kids in a different way. And I have been able to do that.
I did not feel the biological clock ticking.
Question #4: Tell me about your upcoming trip to Africa. When do you leave? How long will you be gone? Will you be teaching kids about the importance of achieving their dreams?
I leave for Kenya on May 20th. I will be gone 3 to 4 months – so into September.
I will be working at 2 different schools.
One school is Kipchamgaa Children’s Home. It is a school for abandoned kids – they stay there until they are 18.
I actually climbed Mt Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Kipchamgaa.
The school is run by a woman who read my book, Creating the Impossible, and she thought the ideas were powerful principles that could be put into a curriculum for kids. The sort of material I will be teaching is education that kids don’t usually don’t receive: education on our own consciousness…our own inner wisdom.
An 11-year-old girl by the name of Hawi Ensermu read and reviewed my book and she loved it!
“This thought-provoking, life-changing bestseller is one of a kind, and is wonderful and captivating from the very first page. It gives examples of individuals who achieved their dream and that all it takes is grit, passion and courage to step out into the sunshine and believe in yourself. This book should be not only for adults, but for children as well.”
– Hawi Ensermu
The second school I will be teaching at is Building Hope Academy in rural Kenya. Their intention is to give rural kids the same access to education that children in urban settings have. It now has 165 students and 8 or 9 teachers.
I am going to teach some of the principles to these kids, as well – but they are younger: Kindergarten to grade 2. So it is going to be a bit of research & development!
Basically what I will be teaching is to follow your heart and your dream – and learn to say no to people who say you shouldn’t follow your dream. Education for some of these kids isn’t very structured. For example, there isn’t a reading circle. So we may do that. We’ll see what the kids are open to.
In between teaching at the 2 schools, I am going to go on a safari.
Question #5: Tell me how that opportunity came about?
One things lead to another. When you are on your path, things just come your way. People came to ME!
Question #6: What do you hope to achieve from that experience? What do you hope the kids will gain?
What I hope to achieve is to empower kids. My whole mission is to empower and teach children from an early age that they can follow their own path – and how important it is not to get taken off their path by others. I believe in raising consciousness from an early age. When you raise kids to become more compassionate and passionate from an early age, they become more compassionate leaders.
Who knows what effect a person can have on a kid’s life?
In Africa, to become entrepreneurs, writers, doctors, teachers, etc, is way out of many children’s frame of reference. It gives them hope. It acknowledges that they DO have dreams and that they can act on them. If they don’t follow their dreams, then what happens? What is the result of that? If I can impart that to young kids, beginning in Africa, then that is a huge gift.
While I am there, I am hoping to learn a structure that I can apply to other parts of the world…perhaps Canada, Asia and who knows where else? So this is very much a learning trip for me, too.
I really believe you have to embrace the mystery – and see what unfolds from an experience.
Question #7: Are you planning on replicating that experience here in Canada i.e. teaching kids here?
Question #8: What are your thoughts on the concept of “mothering in the broader/community/global perspective?” Would you say this experience is a good example of that?
I believe it takes a village to raise a child. We all have a nurturing capacity. There is grace in feminine power. In terms of children…I don’t think we should just care for them but also empower them.
Feminine power is about collaboration not just competition. As the Dalai Lama says, it is going to be western women who change the world. In the end, women are the ultimate protectors of children. Don’t let anything get between a woman and her child…whether they are biologically connected or not! It’s not a coincidence that it is MOTHER earth.
Question #9: Why do you think your book, Creating the Impossible, resonates with younger people as well as adults?
Again, I think it is because everyone has a dream. Whether or not we bring it into realization is a different story. But everyone has one. The dream can be raising a beautiful family, writing a book, or some of the examples I share in my book, Creating the Impossible, where people are achieving dreams that have a global humanitarian impact.
If more people did what they loved to do – what they are here to do – can you imagine what the world would be like?
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
– Joseph Campbell
There are so many people who are willing to take another person off their path. It takes courage and will to do what you want to do – without permission or approval from others.
Question #10: In your book, Creating the Impossible, you mention about the importance of trusting your intuition and getting in sync with our higher selves…our souls. Why do you think this is so important to teach to kids – especially when so many adults seem to have difficulty doing so?
Our intuition is the way we communicate with our selves. This might be abstract for kids to understand – but they DO get the concept of imagination. The place of imagination is where the ideas come.
The bearer of the dream is the carrier of the dream.
It’s not random what comes into a person’s imagination. When a person makes that connection – intuition is how that happens – then you can live in flow.
Your intuition is giving you direction for YOUR individual soul’s path. Your intuition will give you the best, clearest, path for YOU.
The problem is that when people hear the voice, it is the loud one they often listen to! But the soft voice is your intuition. It feels like the truth. And it is important to listen to because it is the best guide. You and I may have the same dream but my intuition might tell me a different way to go about achieving it.
Our souls have a different path. The key is to learn how to listen to our intuition.
Question #11: Do you have any further words of wisdom you would like to share with Mothering Matters readers? Either women who may be in the process of deciding whether or not motherhood is for them – or perhaps women who do have children?
Again, my own philosophy is this: ALL women are mothers when I say they are the caregivers/protectors of the young. The most important thing, whether you have your own child or not, is the maternal love…a child cannot have too much love.
A child cannot have too many people who care about them. So any women who can provide love and compassion and guidance for a child, how beautiful for that woman and that child? Whether or not there is any biological connection is irrelevant. Whether or not you give birth to a child doesn’t matter. It’s that you love them…that’s what matters.
Regarding the Kipchamgaa school I will be teaching at, those kids are not orphans. Most of them have parents – but the parents, for whatever reason, are unable to care for them. The kids themselves are being mothered by someone else. How blessed for the child that someone else is going to take on that role?
The housemother at Kipchangaa, Stella, – is looking after 45 kids. Yes, there are teachers, volunteers, etc but Stella is the housemother.
Imagine where those kids would be without Stella?
Thank you, Barbara, and all the best in Africa!
Barbara Edie was interviewed by Maryanne Pope. Maryanne is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.
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